Category: Nurse Skills

Articles involving nursing skills and techniques.

Understanding Hospice Eval and Treat Orders

Provider Order To Eval And Treat For Hospice
In the world of healthcare, when a provider writes an order to "Eval and Treat" for hospice, they are asking for a thorough evaluation and a tailored treatment plan. This is specifically meant for patients who are being considered for hospice care. Let's delve into what this means and why it's crucial. What Does "Eval and Treat" for Hospice Mean?
Read MoreUnderstanding Hospice Eval and Treat Orders

Hospice Nursing Visit frequencies: A Guide for New Hospice Nurses

color coded hospice staff visit calendar
As a hospice nurse, determining the appropriate frequency of scheduled nurse visits for your patients is essential to providing effective and compassionate end-of-life care. Patients and their families often rely on your expertise to ensure their comfort and well-being during this sensitive time. In this article, we'll discuss suggested starting scheduled nurse visit frequencies, when to decrease or increase frequencies, and factors to consider based on patient acuity and changes in their condition.
Read MoreHospice Nursing Visit frequencies: A Guide for New Hospice Nurses

Managing Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State at End of Life: A Comfort-Based Approach

Dka Vs Hhs For Diabetes
As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand that managing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) at end of life can be challenging, especially when patients choose to stop taking their diabetic medications or when those medications are no longer an option. In this article, I will provide information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemic crises and outline comfort-based treatment options that align with hospice goals of care.
Read MoreManaging Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State at End of Life: A Comfort-Based Approach

Understanding and Managing Contractures

dementia patient with contractures
I know that the journey you and your loved one are on can be challenging, especially when facing a terminal illness. As an experienced hospice nurse caring for terminally ill patients, I want to provide you with some valuable insights on a common issue that may arise during this time: contractures.
Read MoreUnderstanding and Managing Contractures

Managing Shortness of Breath in Hospice Care: Non-Pharmacological Methods for Comfort

Using A Small Fan To Help Reduce Shortness Of Breath
Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a common symptom that affects many patients in hospice care. It can make breathing difficult and uncomfortable, and cause anxiety and distress. As a hospice nurse, I know how hard it can be to see your loved one's struggle with breathlessness. That’s why I want to share with you some non-pharmacological methods that can help ease their breathing and improve their comfort. Non-pharmacological methods are techniques that do not involve taking any medicine. They are safe, easy, and effective ways to manage shortness of breath. They can also help patients feel more relaxed and calmer and improve their quality of life. In this article, I will explain five non-pharmacological methods that have worked well for many hospice patients.
Read MoreManaging Shortness of Breath in Hospice Care: Non-Pharmacological Methods for Comfort

Best Practices for Oral Care in Hospice Patients: A Guide for Families

oral mouth swabs
Caring for a loved one who is comatose during their hospice journey requires special attention, particularly when it comes to oral care. In this guide, we'll explore best practices for oral care, considering the unique needs of comatose patients, and provide you with valuable resources for further guidance.
Read MoreBest Practices for Oral Care in Hospice Patients: A Guide for Families

Understanding Hospice Eligibility for Terminally Ill Patients with Non-Alzheimer’s Dementia

As experienced caregivers, we know how crucial it is to accurately assess and determine hospice eligibility for our terminally ill patients. Today, let's focus on patients with non-Alzheimer's dementia. While the FAST scale is not applicable in these cases, there are other signs and symptoms we should be observant of to support and prove hospice eligibility. Let's dive in!
Read MoreUnderstanding Hospice Eligibility for Terminally Ill Patients with Non-Alzheimer’s Dementia

Dementia Care for loved ones who are habitually restless

habbitually restless lady
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be both rewarding and challenging. If your loved one has been restless throughout their life, this restlessness may continue as a symptom of their dementia. As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand the difficulties you may face in managing habitual restlessness while ensuring the safety and welfare of your loved one. In this article, I'll provide you with practical tips and evidence-based practices to create a calming environment for your loved one, even if they have trouble with fine motor control due to arthritis or other factors.
Read MoreDementia Care for loved ones who are habitually restless

Managing Infections in the Geriatric Population

elderly patient blowing her nose with medications nearby
Infections remain a significant contributor to mortality among older adults, even with advancements in antibiotic treatments. Managing infections in this population poses unique challenges, necessitating early detection and treatment due to the increased risk of morbidity and mortality. In this article, we will delve into common infections in geriatric patients, encompassing early, middle, and late-stage symptoms, preventive measures, and prevalent treatment approaches, particularly for patients facing a terminal illness prognosis of six months or less.
Read MoreManaging Infections in the Geriatric Population

Understanding the Importance of the PAINAD Scale in Pain Assessment for Terminally Ill Patients

Paidad Scale To Assess For Pain Observationally
As experienced hospice nurses, our primary goal is to provide the best possible care and comfort to our terminally ill patients during their final journey. Pain management is a crucial aspect of hospice care, and it becomes even more challenging when dealing with patients who may have difficulty expressing their pain due to cognitive impairments or other factors. In such situations, the PAINAD scale emerges as a valuable tool for pain assessment. Let's explore why and when using the PAINAD scale is essential, particularly when patients consistently over or underreport their pain.
Read MoreUnderstanding the Importance of the PAINAD Scale in Pain Assessment for Terminally Ill Patients

Understanding Changes in Palliative Performance Scale in the Last Six Months of Life

Palliative Performance Scale Ppsv2
In the journey towards end-of-life care, understanding the Palliative Performance Scale (PPSv2) and its downward changes in the last six months can provide valuable insights for hospice caregivers, patients, and families. This article aims to break down these changes' month by month, offering guidance on what to expect during this crucial period.
Read MoreUnderstanding Changes in Palliative Performance Scale in the Last Six Months of Life

A Holistic Approach: Hospice Nursing Assessment vs. Hospital/Nursing Home Assessment

The Intersection Of Palliative Care Prior To End Of Life And End Of Life Palliative Care Especially In The Last Hours
As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand the importance of providing compassionate care that focuses on maximizing patient comfort and removing avoidable distress. The hospice nursing assessment differs from assessments conducted in hospitals or nursing homes, where the focus is often on normal versus abnormal vital signs and lab values. In this article, I will compare the hospice nursing assessment to assessments done in other healthcare settings, providing examples that highlight the unique approach of hospice nursing.
Read MoreA Holistic Approach: Hospice Nursing Assessment vs. Hospital/Nursing Home Assessment

Significant Signs a Terminally Ill Patient may be Close to Dying

Signs of imminent death
There are typical visible/audible signs that a person may have less than two weeks to live. There are times when we are so close to someone, we may miss the forest for the trees. Please allow me to go over some significant signs that a person with a terminal illness may have two weeks or less to live. If there is sudden onset, within the past 24-hours, any of the following signs and symptoms, please do an evaluation for end-of-life determination as soon as possible (family members seeing these signs should reach out to their hospice provider's 24x7 number):
Read MoreSignificant Signs a Terminally Ill Patient may be Close to Dying

Managing Terminal Restlessness

Exhausted Patient From Restlessness
Losing a loved one is an incredibly challenging experience, and witnessing changes in their behavior and well-being can be distressing. As a hospice nurse, I've supported many families and caregivers through this grim time. One common symptom that may arise towards the end of life is restlessness. In this article, I will explain the different types of restlessness and offer guidance on how to manage them. Understanding these distinctions can provide valuable insights into your loved one's condition and help you navigate the final stages of their life with compassion and care.
Read MoreManaging Terminal Restlessness

Mottling of Skin Near Death

Mottling At End Of Life Lower Calves
As a caregiver or family member, it can be challenging to witness the changes that occur as a loved one approaches the end of their life. One such change that may occur is mottled skin, also known as livedo reticularis. Understanding what mottled skin is and its significance in the dying process can help you provide the best care and support to your loved one during this time.
Read MoreMottling of Skin Near Death

Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive updates on new articles to your inbox.

The emails we will send you only deal with educational articles, not requests to buy a single thing! Read our privacy policy for more information.